David was born in Merthyr Tydfil in the summer of 1961. He is the third child in a family of six. He grew up in Mountain Ash, a mining community in South Wales. His father was a Veterinary Surgeon and his mother a teacher. She, rather than he, had to suffer the ordeal of his education, often having to endure the embarrassment of asking his class mates “Where is David? Does anyone know?”
His childhood and early adolescence were spent in what is best described as an exuberant and chaotic family of four sisters, a brother, mother and father. There were many beloved pets including cats, dogs, and occasional exotic additions when his father brought work home. There were chickens, always there were (expletive deleted) chickens. There was also a horse won in a raffle who was named guess what? Yes Raffalo. He and his family have surreal idiosyncrasies when it comes to names.
He was state educated and like many, a reluctant participant in the comprehensive school experiment practiced in the United Kingdom in the 1970’s. He could say how it scarred his soul, denied important opportunities, etc. but won’t as it is nonsense. David didn’t like school because he had to get up in the morning.
David went on from school to University and gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology with Honours. At the time of completing his education in the early 1980’s Britain was in the grip of a severe recession. This had an impact on him, his family and local community. It ripped the heart out of his home town. Fortunately, an ability to draw helped him to switch careers becoming a cartographer before moving on to estate management and then postgraduate education that let him achieve the honour of becoming a Chartered Surveyor.
As an artist David has had no formal training but a heck of a lot of practice. There were some vague attempts to gain an education in art as a youth but parental pressure put a stop to that notion in no uncertain terms and despite the attempted intervention by art teachers. A typical example of the Father/Son conflict you might say …well… in this case it was more a father/brothers and a sister conflict. A bit melodramatic and flamboyant but aren’t artist always? Frankly, David was a bit indifferent to the whole shebang. He was going to draw or paint regardless of circumstance. If there is one thing it is hoped you will take from his work is that talent is a gift and will express itself regardless of impediment. Training, if it does anything at all is to help with focus and discipline.
During early adulthood there was limited success in Eisteddfodau, (Welsh cultural festivals) local art competitions and culminating in minor national recognition as a finalist in a Laing Art competition and an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.
Ever a cliché, he married a local girl in the late eighties and raised a family. He lived the Cyril Connolly’s quotation – There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall. It wasn’t really much of a sacrifice. He was blessed with a healthy family of three boys, a daughter, dogs, cats, even tropical fish but thankfully no (expletive deleted) chickens!
David has recently recovered from serious health problems that have forced him to take stock of many things. Now with all his children adults and independent he has returned to his first love painting. Minor success in local competitions has again been achieved and a new audience for his work is he hopes starting to develop.
It is doubtful that you could ascribe particular influences to David. His family and friends would probably describe him as happy go lucky while he ploughs his own furrow indifferent but probably just ignorant of the furrow’s direction. If asked, baffled David would probably try to explain the mechanism of Brownian motion. If the misunderstanding was explained to him apologetically, he would perhaps tell you the works of artists such as Dali, Escher, Bosch and Van Gogh are important to him, as are writers such as Philip K. Dick, Henry Williamson and Ray Bradbury. There are many musicians and lyricist also that he finds a rich source of inspiration. He is however just as likely to tell you Scooby Doo, the programme “Vision On” and the Discovery Channel are important. David’s interests are eclectic. All of this however pales into insignificance to people which are for David, always a rich source of ideas. Try catching a bus home from the hospital and being part of an audience to a couple looking for a snake that has escaped its cage while trying not to alert other passengers. There can be no more divine a comedy than the human condition and this David tries to emulate in his work. David is a fan of the absurd.
Artists in whatever media they choose are “show offs” nothing more, nothing less and that is fine. It is motivation if nothing else but audiences have to be respected and that requires effort. David is baffled by the need only to produce “nice” or “disneyesque” work. Why? There is a vast range of emotions and feelings to explore, so why choose what is easy? There is no need however to shock just for the sake of it. There are such things as manners! An audience must never be bored by an artwork.
How can this artist best be described? David wants to be considered as dashing and eloquent. He is however unable to debunk his late mother’s opinion of him as a blithering idiot.